THE GOOD, BAD, AND UGLY FOR 8/21/2000
Hey folks, it's Michaelangelo here and I have returned from my slumber to bring you the point by point dissection of the Big Two's Monday night offerings. I've been gone for so long, it feels like the first time! Oooh yeah! I will butter your bread and make sure when it falls it lands dry side down.
I have NO IDEA what that means.
Anyway, I bet you are all wondering where I have been. Those of you who read my erstwhile companion/live-in lover's column know that I took the summer off to recharge my batteries. Frankly, I was not happy with the quality of my work the last few weeks of the spring and felt that I needed to give it a rest for a bit. I moved into a new apartment, pulled the pieces of my life back together, play a lot of Everquest, and voila! Here I am, back and better than ever.
Well, we'll see about that, I suppose.
Regardless, quit your whining, the GBU is among the pages of [slash] Wrestling once again. Are you happy about it? Write to me and tell me. My e-mail addy is down at the bottom of the page. While you are on your way down, why not read everything between here and there along the way?
So, what has happened since I last wrote one of these? A trip to the archives shows that my last GB&U was April 24. Holy crap! WCW had David Arquette, Bischoff and Russo, and The Millionaires Club. WWF had the Dancing Big Show, Trish teasing Buh Buh Ray, and the Fac-gime. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
So now where are we? Russo is running the show at WCW and somehow trying to run a "shoot" in the midst of his normal angles. What the guy does not seem to understand is that this simply cannot work. The smarts are too intelligent to believe that Goldberg is "not following the script" while the marks have no damned idea what the hell is going on. It's lose-lose.
Speaking of a waste of time, let's talk about Mark Madden. Not only do I have to listen to his inane, worthless, entirely unfocused commentary which consists mostly of him screaming about how cool the heels are and ripping off popular phrases and quotes from pop culture mainstays like Kevin Smith ("snoochie boochies") and Batman ("Never rub another man's rhubarb") as well as from other wrestling commentators ("Spinerooni! Spinerooni! Spinerooni!), but now he has taken to actually wrestling as well. I'm not sure, but I think this just might be a sign of the Apocalypse. His match Thursday with Gene Okerlund was the biggest pile of garbage I have ever seen. Why was La Parka released, so we could see this talentless blob fall down slowly 20 times? It boggles the mind.
Well, at least Hogan is gone.
Booker T is our World Champion. Not a bad choice, but he has to keep the belt for at least three or four more months. That will give it much needed credibility and help to make the promotion as a whole that much more interesting. After all, who cares about a wrestling company whose champion is a skinny, obnoxious actor? Don't answer that, I know -- I know.
In the WWF, I saw Rocky win the Heavyweight Title at the KotR. He holds it still, having gotten past the greatest wrestler on the roster, Chris Benoit. It sucks that the feud was blown off so quickly, but you have to admit, Rocky looks better since that program with the Crippler. Could the Brahma Bull have gotten some pointers from Mr. Roboto? I think so.
The HHH/Angle storyline is very nice and every week I wait with baited breath to see what will happen next. Honestly! I even don't mind Steph, as long as they finally let Lita take the belt off her tonight. Mick Foley's commissioner-hood has added a sweet element of humor to the mix. We shall see how it all plays out. I do know this: HHH may well come out of this a face, especially if Steph turns on him in favor of Angle.
As for Benoit, well, I love what they are doing with him. He is a scary, dangerous man. Just the way I like it.
So what have we this week? I dunno really. The WWF will continue to heat up the main storylines for Summer Slam while WCW will try to convince us that Goldberg is acting outside the jurisdiction of the booking staff.
Let's get to it.
The Good, Bad, and Ugly for Monday, August 21, 2000
BAD: Russo is back...and he's the first person we see when Nitro starts. Not putting himself over, my ass.
GOOD: The unpredictability of this show. I have to admit, I seldom know what the hell is going to happen from moment to moment.
BAD: Elix Skipper. He should be called "Not Ready for Prime Time" Elix Skipper. He is too green to be wearing gold.
UGLY: Skipper's mic work. "Show me the money"? Let me guess, Russo wrote that one. Well it was him or Madden.
AWFUL: Madden proclaiming himself a Canadian just to take the heel side. We all know he is from Pittsburgh, so his pathetic attempt to garner heat is not only ineffective, it's fucking stupid.
GOOD: Chavo in the ring. There is finally something worth watching in the first few minutes of this show.
OH SHUT UP: Madden please let go of the Pro-Canadian crap. You aren't fooling anyone and you sound like a moron. Oh wait, you must be used to that by now.
BAD: Skipper's pathetic attempt at a chairshot. He missed him by a mile.
OH PLEASE: A ring?!?! That's what he KO'ed Chavo with? How the hell is the crowd in the arena supposed to know that's what happened when the object is that small? I bet next time he will clock him with a paper clip. Uh oh! He nailed him with a neutrino and without an electron microscope, the ref did not see it!
BAD: Russo is out and here he goes with his usual crap. He even has the balls to mention his "promise" to stay off TV. Ugh.
BAD: "They pull me back in." Can he go 30 seconds without ripping someone else off?
BAD: Goldberg dispatches the guards easily. Too easily. Note to the bodyguards: it helps if you actually try to defend yourself.
CONFUSING: If Russo knows that Goldberg will violate his contract if he hits him, why does he need guards?
GOOD: Admittedly, the whole "release" thing was entertaining and a quick, efficient way to turn Billy boy face again.
UGLY: Steiner doing what he does best, harassing women. Can they not come up with something else for him to do?
GOOD: Booker T making his appearance. I don't think his presence will ever upset me.
NOT SO GOOD: Wish he would wear the belt now and then. No need to do everything the Rock does.
ARGH: I was so happy when Russo was gone. I hate his ass in that ring again.
ADMITTEDLY...he does know how to get the cheap heat and cheap heat is better than no heat at all.
GOOD: Booker lays Russo out. Now that I liked.
INTERESTING: A new stable has formed out of the Power Plant guys. Too bad I have a hard time caring.
THE WORST THING IN THE WHOLE WORLD: Kwee Wee. Nuff said.
AT LEAST...they explained away the "departure" of Papaya.
GOOD: The MIA. I do like all these guys...with the exception of A.Wall.
QUESTION: Is Kwee Wee wearing a dress? Does Perry Saturn approve of this?
UM: A slow mo sunset flip by Major Guns. That was just...well...er...she has nice tits.
HAS ANYONE BOTHERED TO ASK...why the wardrobe guy is stronger, better conditioned, and a better wrestler than most of the boys on their roster? They should start recruiting from the backstage crew more often. Perhaps the gaffer could be a contender for the US Championship...
UGLY: This match once the girls get involved. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. COUGH. (Sorry, bit of aggravation stuck in my throat). These girls blow all their spots, they cannot even feign talent or coordination, and most of their moves miss by a mile.
AND ANOTHER THING...what the hell was with that "butt in the face move"? Shaddap Madden. If it's bad, it's bad. You can barely save a Twinkie from it's wrapper, let alone a car wreck of this caliber.
FUNNY: Tank's new shiny shirt. I like the fact that he is still wearing those ugly shorts under it.
FUNNIER: Tank singing. Say what you will, any song that uses the phrase "chew out your bladder" is okay by me.
CHRIST: The ICP are back. Sure, let's put these assholes over three genuinely talented wrestlers.
ARGH: Juggalo Heavyweight Championship belt? Oh for FUCK'S SAKE.
WHAT YOU WANNA BET: Vamp loses that belt tonight...I got $10 says he does.
GOOD: I like Vamp, and I have to give him props for a decent in-ring interview.
BAD: I took a hiatus three months ago and Vampiro was losing most of his matches. I return and he is still losing most of his matches. The more things change...
GOOD: The Natural Born Thrillers. I will overlook the blatant rip off of the Oliver Stone film to say that teaming up these six guys is one good way to get them over and make their faces known.
GOOD: Sanders is decent on the mic. I like the introduction of members of the group.
NOT BAD: The Filthy Animals. Their roster is fairly solid, but they do need a big guy to fill out their ranks.
BAD: Cutting away the second Konnan's promo ends and going to commercial. I thought WCW was rolling with the unpredictable storylines. Why cut away when things get interesting? That does not sound like a company "on the edge."
WORSE: There is an actual match going on when we get back. Oh for...
WHEN THE HELL...is Konnan gonna stop collecting a paycheck for talking 7 minutes a week?
GOOD: This match. Seems to be some decent talent in there...lots of great moves and high spots too.
BAD: What is the deal with Rey's horns? He'd best be careful or those things might go into his brain.
BAD: Terrible missed Swinging neckbreaker by Disco.
GOOD: Disco taking bumps. He takes shots that would snap me in half.
BAD: Madden overselling the young talent in the ring. Stop shoving it down your fans' throat. There's another dimension to think about here, as well. Madden is a heel announcer and he is now trying to tell the fans that what they are seeing is good. By nature of him being a heel, the fans should not take anything he says seriously. Pick a fucking side and stick with it, dumbass.
WOW: This match. It turns into a pier six that both teams manage to hold together well.
SWEET: The "Time Bomb" on Tygress. He hit it perfectly...let me lift my jaw off the ground.
BUT...why was Konnan still at the commentary desk when she was getting attacked? Lazy fuck can't even help his team's valet?
BAD: Booker T. versus Chuck Palumbo? Um...well...I am all for the young guys getting their shots, but...Chuck Palumbo?
BAD: Russo as the guest referee in the World Title Match? If he wants the belt off Booker, why doesn't he just strip it of him? The logic of shit like this, no matter which federation does it, is just fucking stupid.
GOOD: At least Russo is not counting pinfalls for Booker. That much remains consistent.
HORRIBLE: With every word that comes out of Madden's mouth, I get more and more aggravated. His commentary is one dimensional, pointless, and loud. That's it.
BAD: Big Vito single-handedly takes out all of the NBT? Sure sure.
FUCK THAT: Palumbo gets the title? No way. No WAY.
I NEVER THOUGHT I'D BE GLAD TO SEE THE CAT: But I am.
GOOD: I have to admit. As of late, I have been entertained by The Cat...quite entertained. His dialogue is great, and he calls Madden a "fat ass." He's okay in my book.
BAD: This match as a whole. It gives new meaning to the word "overbooked."
BAD: These damned abduction angles. Why have the police not been notified? Seems like kidnapping is a serious offense and we have evidence that it happened live on tape.
AWFUL: The ICP at the commentary table? Get rid of these guys, PLEASE.
BAD: This match. They seem to want to show us more of those two idiots than the actual in-ring action.
WOW: Scott Robinson takes a major shot to the face! Wow. What a sell job!
BAD: The match has a ref bump, run-ins, and a screwjob ending. Welcome back, Vince Russo.
GOOD: Smiley versus Clarke. I can handle this.
BAD: If he does not want the Hardcore Title, why doesn't he just lie down for Clarke? Antagonizing Adams is not the smartest thing he could do.
BAD: The Harris Boys involve themselves in the match. Yet another run-in...Jesus.
GOOD: The Cat and Storm. I like Storm's stoic affirmation of everything that The Cat throws at him and I like Cat's constant attempts to trip Storm up.
BAD: Vito versus Kevin Nash? I'd rather watch grass grow.
GETTING BETTER: Pamela Paulshock. She has the look, she just need to get her interviewing skills up there a bit. Hey, if Lillian Garcia can come around, so can she.
NOT BAD: Vito actually makes this match watchable.
THE ONLY PROBLEM IS...the fact that the commentators are putting Vito over as having earned the respect of everyone with his showing. That essentially means that he is gonna lose very very soon.
YUP: There's the jackknife powerbomb.
BAD: Another damned run-in. How many is that so far?
GOOD: Lance Storm is cool. He's great in the ring and he is a bona-fide heel.
BAD: All the signs that the camera focuses on while Storm gets in the ring are pro-Canada signs. In spite of this, the commentators insist that the crowd is primarily anti-Canada. Attaway to be on the ball, guys.
GOOD: The participants in this match. They are all hard workers and there is a real story behind the bout.
NICE: Great powerbomb by Awesome! Wow.
BAD: The match ended with another run-in and screwjob as Awesome eats a guitar shot by Jarrett.
I JUST WANT TO SAY...that Madden is just making me more and more infuriated. I think I may need to see someone about this issue.
BAD: The commentators justify Goldberg's actions last week against Madajah by saying that she is an in-ring performer for WCW. Now, I seem to recall a certain Internet columnist on the WCW payroll who had a major problem with women taking bumps from men in the WWF a year or so ago. Now it's okay for a 280 pound man to jackhammer a 110 pound woman through a table? Sorry, but I don't buy it. I just don't.
BAD: I have to step in here and say that Goldberg's girlfriend isn't really that good an actress...but then, she isn't an actress, is she?
BAD: The last sequence of the night. So this is what we get in lieu of a main event? Men attacking women? A lead pipe that bends like rubber? I prefer the WWF's main event to this...and that's about the worst thing I can possibly say.
OVERALL: This was a HORRIBLE show. In fact, it is about the worst Nitro I can ever remember seeing. With the exception of the Filthy Animals/NBT match, every bout ended in a run-in or screwjob and there was no main event at all. I don't know how you can keep stressing story over wrestling substance like this and expect to garner viewers. If the matches have no legit endings every time, why bother even booking them at all? Top this all off with Mark Madden's inane screaming and illogical choice of allegiances and you have a floundering wrestling promotion that is just sinking deeper into the quagmire of failure.
GOOD: Stephanie is defending the Women's title again tonight.
BAD: I am sure they will find some other way to put her over Lita yet again.
BAD: The Rock's arrival. I guess we start with a 20 minute interview tonight.
MY TWO CENTS: I don't care for the Rock as Champion. He is much more interesting when he is chasing the goal. As it stands, it seems he lacks anyone to have a decent feud with. Damn, I wish Benoit had taken the gold when he had the chance.
JUST GET ON WITH IT...Rock spends the first three minutes of his interview sucking up to the fans...as if he needs to.
GOOD: Interesting segue from describing the shape of the state to turning his gumbo-spread foot up HHH's ass. It's actually been a while since he has used these catchphrases.
ON THE FENCE: It's getting to the point that I can taste Mick Foley's arrival during these segments. I am not sure if that is good or bad. I mean unpredictability is always welcome, but there's something to be said for arriving just when the crowd wants you to...
GOOD: Mick Foley. I am glad he's back and in the role that he has been playing lately. He does not have to risk his health, but he is out there making us all laugh. That's a good thing.
GOOD: Angle. Who'da thunk this kid would be as popular as he is now?
GOOD: I like Kurt equating smashing Rocky in the head with a chair with his own integrity. It actually makes sense in some twisted way.
BAD: HHH and Rocky feuding again...and again...ugh...let's move on.
GOOD: Mick on HHH's face: "Too bad your ears aren't as big as your nose."
BETTER: HHH's retort: "At least I have two ears."
BAD: The Acolytes versus HHH/Angle. Come on, you think they are gonna job HHH or Angle out to one of the Acolytes? Not a snowball's chance...
GOOD: The Rock as the special guest referee in the Women's title match. I didn't see that coming...and it remains to be seen how they play the feud out in what normally would be a throwaway bout.
PREDICTABLE: Between the attention paid to Tazz's entrance and the long shot of him walking past the stacks of boxes, they all but told us that the King was gonna ambush Mr. 13.
I WONDER: What does Matt say on his way to the ring anyway? If anyone ever gets to sit along that entrance row and can hear him, please shoot me a message. I'd love to know. whtever it is, he certainly seems to have strong feelings about it.
GOOD: The Dudley's versus the Hardies. I have no complaints when these two teams mix it up.
GOOD: I like the new personas that Edge and Christian have been sporting.
GOOD: Christian on JR: "Edge, he thinks he knows you."
GREAT: Edge announcing that there is going to be a swerve, and then Christian says "screw the swerve, we're just gonna do a run-in."
BAD: I still miss the Brood.
GOOD: Am I the only one cracking up at their commentary? I think not. "Stinktitude." Heh.
FUNNY: The cameraman was knocked head over heels! I LOVE when that happens.
BAD: Trish is wrestling again? Maybe on nights she sees action, she might want to consider leaving the push-up bra in the locker room. Just a thought. You think a fitness model would have some idea of what should be worn in the ring.
GOOD: The McMahon/Helmsley/Angle skit. Is it all a ruse? Time will tell.
BAD: Eddie overplaying the Latino thing. It's a little too Cheech Marin for me.
GOOD: Ivory is back!
GOOD: Trish's bulldog on Crash. Not too shabby.
BAD: Rikishi and Kane again? Jesus didn't we have this a few times already?
BAD: Jobbing Ivory out to Trish. I know it furthers the storylines. I know it is booked for a purpose. I think Ivory deserves better, that's all.
GOOD: Although she gets the advantage, Chyna does not get the better of both Val and Trish. That's wise booking.
BAD: Putting the IC title on the line at the mixed tag for Summers Slam. So help me, if Trish walks away with the belt...
GOOD: For two large men, Rikishi and Kane manage to put on something more than a "slobberknocker" there's speed and some actual wrestling moves.
BAD: It turns into a total shmozz when Kane loses patience and beans everyone with a chair. *Sigh*
GOOD: Steven Richards and the RTC. You gotta hate these guys...that's why I love them.
HAVE YOU EVER NOTICED...that for a bad-ass team, the Acolytes have a tendency to lose a lot?
GOOD: I love Faarooq's spinebuster. He actually busts that spine...I can't look at it without wincing.
TOO BAD: Bradshaw isn't cut. If his physique were more refined, he'd be a huge star.
WHOOPS: Weird spot when Faarooq throws HHH to the corner and he goes to the center rope instead.
GOOD: This match. Has a decent pace and seems to put both teams over pretty well. Even though the Acolytes lose (as we all knew they would) the match itself is done well enough to make me smile.
OWCH! Angle eats a Clothesline from Hell. Jesus...what a hit.
GOOD: Angle takes the beating while HHH runs away. Nice. I like the way this match ended and I like the way it moves the storyline forward to the PPV.
GOOD: RTC. Let me say a few things here. You have to love the WWF writers. The company is in the middle of a battle with the PTC. What do they do? They create a heel stable based on the very organization that is the center of the conflict. To top it off, they take one of the most "morally questionable" characters (The Godfather, a wrestling pimp) and turn him into a member of that stable. It's damn near genius.
INTERESTING: Foley gets involved. Hmmm.
GOOD: The King on Mick's reference to shrimp: "Cheap pop."
GOOD: "Shrimpin' ain't easy."
GOOD: Richard's reaction to being added to the match at Summer Slam. Gotta love those facial expressions.
COOL: Blackman takes down the Mean Street Posse and chases Shane out of the locker room. Great moment there.
BAD: Too bad Shane is gonna win the Hardcore Title tonight. I know, I know, I hope I am wrong too.
BAD: Angle is leaving, again? What a wimp.
BAD: Bit of a production error there during Jericho's entrance. Should hold that camera tighter when the pyro goes off.
GOOD: Jericho versus Saturn.
BAD: No Terri? Aww.
DISTURBING: Saturn has a beard but no hair on his head. He looks like his face is upside down.
DECENT: The match. Although, I expect better from these two guys.
GOOD: BENOIT BABY! This guy is awesome. These two can feud for the rest of their careers and I will never tire of it...
BETTER: They go at each other tooth and nail! Wow! How many notched you suppose they kicked it up tonight? Ten, twelve?
THE BEST PART: Sooner or later, you know they will be on the same side and then, watch out world! I ask you to just imagine that tag team.
BAD: The Hardcore title match. Formulaic. Punch punch punch. Kick kick kick. Drag to the ring. Hit with tin foil trash can lid. Yeah yeah yeah.
BAD: King on Test: "I don't think that Hardcore is his forte." Um, did you forget that Test was once the Hardcore Champion?
BAD: Shouldn't Shane at least be somewhat involved in this match?
OF FUCKING COURSE: Shane as the Hardcore Champion? Jesus Goddamned Christ. Must they!?!? Is that necessary? One question...why? What purpose does it serve to put Shane over Blackman?
GOOD: Shane begging Edge and Christian to pin him to get out of his championship defense at Summer Slam. I like the way E&C did the "Rock, Scissors, Paper" to see who gets to pin him.
BAD: E&C versus DX. No, please, do not give those two weasels the gold.
GOOD: I can safely say that DX will not take the belts tonight, especially since they are having internal problems which will likely lead to the team's breakup tonight. You heard it here first, folks.
GOOD: Terri attacks the Kat and gives her a Stinkface on stage at WWF New York. Please.
BAD: Why is the cameraman still swinging around looking for Edge and Christian when their music hits? They come down the ramp now. Just focus there and you will see them. Promise.
INTERESTING: X-Pac gesturing impatiently at Road Dogg while James does his in-ring spiel.
BAD: Road Dogg uses his "shake rattle and roll" to pump himself up and break out of a submission hold. Oh please.
I KNEW IT: DX is fighting amongst themselves. Odds are that Road Dogg is going through the table...
I KNEW IT AGAIN: Yep. Right through the wood.
ON THE FENCE: I am psyched that Lita is in the main event, however, I am disgusted that Stephanie is there too. Why does every silver lining have to have a cloud?
WHY...aren't the Hardies at ringside with Lita?
BAD: This match. Must we be subjected to this? Stephanie may have wrestling "in her family," and she can cut a decent promo, but she certainly lacks the in-ring skills to make me think she's worth my time. Please...
AH: There are the Hardies...about time.
BAD: The match continues...I keep thinking, "This is the main event." Bleah.
BAD: Stephanie keeps kicking out!?!? This match is bullshit.
GOOD: The ending was exciting and crowd pleasing and it's about time Steph dropped that belt to someone else. I won't say anything bad about the last 60 seconds of this match.
OVERALL: Not a bad show, but not that good either. While it did manage to lead us into the PPV quite well and still gives us room for a little bit more on Thursday night, I can't help but feel a bit ambivalent about most of the feuds. I mean, we have see HHH/Rock, Jericho/Benoit, E&C/Hardies/Dudleys, UT/Kane, and X-Pac/Road Dogg plenty of times. I have to wonder whether the WWF is really trying to push the younger talent or if it is all smoke up our asses until Austin returns. As far as the final match, the choice of Stephanie/Lita for the main event was questionable, at least in my mind. I would probably have put that match on at 10 p.m. and saved HHH and Angle versus the Acolytes for the finale. But that's just me.
Wow. I did it. I actually wrote a Good, Bad, and Ugly after three months...and it felt pretty good too. If it keeps feeling this way, I may just stick it out for a while.
That is, if you guys want me to.
Do me a favor. Make me feel wanted. Send me lots of mail. I want a totally full inbox this week. Tell me if you liked it, hated it, didn't give a rat's ass about it...whatever. I live for feedback and look forward to hearing from all my old friends, and any new ones that may come along. Write to me at email@example.com. All mail will be answered or used as packing material.
See you next week. Promise.
I am Michaelangelo and will be for a while.Michaelangelo
Mail the Author